Oct. 19, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army put together late rallies in sets two and three to post a three-set victory over the Navy volleyball team Friday night at Gillis Field House in West Point. The Black Knights recorded a 25-15, 25-22, 26-24 victory over the Mids.
"Army played a really solid match tonight," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "They are always good at being able to sideout, but tonight they were very good in their transition play. That, and their defense, were the differences in the match."
Army (7-1, Patriot League, 15-6 overall) held a slim 9-8 lead in the first set before going on a 5-1 run to take a 14-9 lead. Navy (4-4, 8-12) closed to within two points of the Black Knights at 14-12 and it was just a three-point deficit for the Mids at 16-13 when Army ran off four consecutive points to take a 20-13 advantage. That was enough of a cushion for the Black Knights to claim the opening set.
Navy was the team to have a strong start to the second set. The Mids scored five of the first seven points before the Black Knights scored five of the next seven to tie the score at 7-7. Navy then went on a 6-0 run to take a 13-7 lead. Army quickly ate away at its deficit and tied the score at 15-15. After a Navy sideout gave the Mids a 16-15 lead, the Black Knights went on a 6-0 run of their own to take a 21-16 lead. Navy was able to close to within two points of Army at both 23-21 and 24-22 before the Black Knights closed out the set.
Neither team could gain any kind of advantage over the other in the early part of the third set. The score was tied eight times through 13-13. The Mids then took a two-point lead at 15-13 and soon held a three-point lead at 18-15. Back-to-back Army points closed the margin down to one point (18-17), then the Mids ran off the next three points to take a 21-17 lead. Army answered with a 5-0 run to take a 22-21 advantage.
A kill by Erin Fortner (Jr., Villa Hills, Ky.) tied the score at 22-22, but an Army kill and a Navy attack error took the Black Knights to match point with a 24-22 lead. Carolyn Ewert (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif.) knocked down a kill for a Mids to stave off the first match-point chance for Army, then a poor set by the Black Knights tied the score -- for the 11th time in the set -- at 24-24. However, a Fortner service error and a Fortner attack error gave Army a 26-24 victory.
"We had some opportunities in the last two sets," said Bock. "The runs Army went on were more because of good Army plays than poor Navy plays. We made them step-up their game and they did just that."
Army's offense posted 42 kills and a .216 attack percentage, while its defense never let Navy get into any kind of rhythm. The Mids had six more swings than the Black Knights did (122-116), but recorded just 32 kills and a .066 hitting percentage. Though Army held a slight statistical advantage in digs (50-48), the Black Knights tallied 8.0 team blocks to just 2.0 for Navy.
Fortner's 11 kills led the Navy offense, with Alex Cassel (So., Sandy, Utah) adding six kills. Christy Rapp (Sr., Royal Oak, Mich.) grabbed a Navy-high 15 digs. Joining her in double figures was Fortner with 10 digs.
Army's offense was well balanced on the night. Margaux Jarka finished with 11 kills, Ariana Mankus had 10 kills and Mary Vaccaro contributed nine kills.
"We struggled on offense," said Bock, "but our defensive players were very good. Christy especially so with her serve-receive and overall game. She also served the ball well. A lot of the reason why we were in the sets was because of our defensive players in general and Christy in particular."
Navy will remain on the road for a Saturday afternoon match at Holy Cross. Links to a live video stream and live statistics from the match can be found at NavySports.com.
Friday's Patriot League Results
Army def. Navy, 3-0
American def. Holy Cross, 3-2
Colgate def. Lafayette, 3-0
Bucknell def. Lehigh, 3-2
Patriot League Standings
1 - 8-0, Colgate
2 - 7-1, Army
3 - 5-3, American
T-4 - 4-4, Navy
T-4 - 4-4, Lehigh
6 - 2-6, Lafayette
T-7 - 1-7, Holy Cross
T-7 - 1-7, Bucknell
Saturday's Patriot League Schedule
Navy at Holy Cross (4 p.m.)
American at Army (4 p.m.)
Lehigh at Colgate (4 p.m.)
Lafayette at Bucknell (5 p.m.)